An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a plastic surgery procedure that requires strategic incisions in the abdomen, which can result in some scarring. Despite this fact, the benefits of a new, improved body contour outweigh concerns that some permanent scarring will occur. One of the biggest issues for patients is the length and position of the resulting scar, and how conspicuous it will be after a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure. Thankfully, there are steps that doctors and patients can take to reduce the appearance of scarring after surgery.
People seek abdominoplasties for a number of reasons. These include; general aesthetic improvement of the abdomen, skin tightening and muscle repair following pregnancy, and the removal of excess skin following weight loss from bariatric surgery. (1) That’s why the tummy tuck is one of the most highly requested cosmetic procedures in the United States. (2) Abdominoplasty is a major surgery. So, it’s important when choosing a surgeon to consider their experience with the procedure, their technical finesse, and their medical professionalism.
As a tummy tuck specialist in Los Angeles with many years of experience, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Younai stands out from the rest. With locations in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, he will use his extensive knowledge and experience in the field to provide you with excellent abdominoplasty results. For a personal consultation to discuss your surgery, call (310) 275-1971 or fill out a contact form on our website.
- 1 About Tummy Tuck Scars
- 2 Care of Tummy Tuck Scars
- 3 Personal Consultation
- 4 Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
- 5 Cost of a Tummy Tuck in Beverly Hills
- 6 FAQ
- 7 References
About Tummy Tuck Scars
Standard tummy tucks produce a scar that runs from hip bone to hip bone. A surgeon’s goal in a tummy tuck is to create incisions in the most subtle way. During the tummy tuck procedure, a surgeon typically makes a long, horizontal incision across the abdomen, tightens musculature with strategic sutures down the midline to tighten underlying musculature, then removes the redundant skin. The scar is placed as low as possible. In some cases where large quantities of skin are removed, the surgeon will make a further incision around the navel (known as an umbilical incision), then reposition the feature in the newly “tucked” abdomen.
How does Scarring Form?
Plastic surgery procedures that involve incisions result in a wound in the treatment area. Although it is a complex process, wound healing can be classified into three basic stages:
The inflammation phase lasts between three and five days. Moments after a wound occurs, the body sends signals to narrow blood vessels and coagulate blood. Platelets aggregate to begin the healing process. At this time swelling usually occurs. Neutrophils and macrophages, types of white blood cells, then fight foreign bacteria, and release anti-inflammatory properties and growth factors. After this, the next 5-15 days is the proliferation phase. Re-epithelialization (wound resurfacing), new blood vessel-formulation, fibroblast migration, and collagen deposition takes place. Finally, in the remodeling phase, collagen cross-linking strengthens tissue. Six weeks after wounding, skin regains 50% of the tensile strength of the original skin. After 3 months, this figure rises to a maximum of 80%. (3)
Types of Tummy Tuck Procedure
The length and placement of the tummy tuck scar depends on the procedure chosen, and the body type you have. There are three main types of tummy tuck.
- Mini Tummy Tuck – The mini tummy tuck procedure produces the smallest scar, and is better suited to people with a longer torso. The resulting scar is similar to a C-section scar, and the procedure does not usually include an umbilical incision. Instead, Dr. Younai places this incision very low—just above the pubic hair line. In this location, it is well covered by clothing.
- Standard Tummy Tuck – The standard tummy tuck is usually suitable for average body types. Most standard abdominoplasty procedures will include an umbilical incision. Although the horizontal incision placed is longer than in a mini tummy tuck, scars are well hidden by clothing.
- Extended Tummy Tuck – The extended tummy tuck treats more areas of the body, including the flanks and hips. The incision for this surgery extends the length of the abdomen to the back of the hips. While it is harder to cover with a bikini, it is placed as low as possible to allow greater choice when shopping for swimwear and undergarments. The improvement in shape from treating the abdomen, flanks, hips and back usually more than compensates for the longer scar.
Dr. Younai offers additional abdominoplasty choices for a wide range of body types! These include the plus size tummy tuck, African American tummy tuck, tummy tuck with liposuction, and male tummy tuck!
Care of Tummy Tuck Scars
Dr. Younai provides his patients with instructions on how to care for their postoperative scars. Patients who follow these instructions have the best outcomes. These instructions may vary from patient to patient, but general postoperative scar management following a tummy tuck procedure includes:
- Reducing swelling by conducting gentle, purposeful daily movements.
- Refraining from smoking for at least six weeks after your procedure.
- Following a healthy diet with plenty of fluids, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
- Avoiding lifting heavy items and strenuous activity for at least six weeks.
- Not stretching, bending, or putting any unnecessary strain on your abdomen.
- Avoiding sexual activity for 3-4 weeks.
Tummy Tuck Revision
Even the best planned and placed incisions can sometimes require revision due to factors related to skin laxity, skin type, healing success, genetics, or a combination of these factors. Sometimes the location of the scar heals higher than intended. Whatever the reason, dissatisfaction with the length, width or color of a scar or the formation of skin tags, or dog ears, can be repaired. Dr. Younai welcomes you to approach him regarding scar revision from prior surgeries, and will be more than happy to address your concerns.
Patients need to be aware of the aesthetic benefits and limitations of tummy tuck procedures, and work with their surgeon to choose the path that fits them best. For the best aesthetic results, one of the most important conversations a patient should have with their surgeon is about the details of their surgery. They should discuss their needs, the length and placement of their incisions, suitable preparatory measures and the aftercare procedure. A good practice is to bring a bikini or undergarments to the initial consultations so exact placement of the incision can be marked.
At your personal consultation with Dr. Younai, you will have the opportunity to tell him about the cosmetic issues you would like to address with an abdominoplasty procedure. He will ask about your medical history, any prior surgeries you have had, if you have been pregnant in the past, and examine your abdomen. Based on his findings, he will design a tailored treatment plan for your specific circumstances.
To schedule a consultation to discuss an abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck revision procedure, please contact Dr. Younai at (310) 275-1971. With offices in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, you can choose the location that’s most convenient for you!
Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
Breast Augmentation – A breast augmentation can complement a tummy tuck, especially after pregnancy. The surgery reshapes sagging breasts and can enhance their size with implants. Choosing these surgeries can restore a more youthful appearance and boost body confidence.
Labiaplasty – Enlarged labia can cause self-esteem issues, pain, and lead to unsatisfactory sexual experiences. A labiaplasty procedure is an important surgery for many women, particularly following the birth of a child. Dr. Younai reduces and resizes the labia to rejuvenate your most intimate area with expert skill and care.
Mommy Makeover – The mommy makeover is a comprehensive combination of tailored cosmetic plastic surgeries to help you look and feel your best! Choose from: breast lift, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, labiaplasty, and a full body lift and find the right combination for your unique circumstances, and rediscover your beautiful silhouette once more!
Cost of a Tummy Tuck in Beverly Hills
A tummy tuck procedure is a personalized surgery that is designed specifically for you, and no two tummy tuck procedures are exactly alike. For that reason, the cost of abdominoplasty will vary. Qualified candidates may wish to apply for financing. Dr. Younai will ensure you receive the highest quality care, and provide you with all the necessary details regarding your procedure at your initial consultation. Please use our online form to contact us, or call (310) 275-1971 for further information.
How long is the scar for a tummy tuck procedure?
Scar length from an abdominoplasty procedure depends on your body shape and the type of tummy tuck you receive. On average, scarring from a mini tummy tuck is 6-8 inches. A standard tummy tuck incision is usually placed from hip to hip, so will vary from patient to patient. An extended tummy tuck scar extends around the hip, so will be longer than both the mini and standard tummy tuck.
Will scarring from a tummy tuck fade over time?
In general, patients can expect to see the scarring from their tummy tuck fade over time, though aftercare and genetics are significant factors. Most patients see significant lightening 6-12 months after their procedure.
How long does a tummy tuck procedure usually take?
A standard tummy tuck procedure takes between 3-4 hours. Mini tummy tucks can usually be completed in under two hours, whereas extended tummy tucks take roughly four hours.
- Regan, J.-P., & Casaubon, J. T. (2020). Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck). PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431058/
- Zhitny, V. P., Iftekhar, N., Zide, B., & Stile, F. (2020). Large extended abdominoplasty—dispelling the myths of prohibitively high BMI’s: a case report. Journal of Surgical Case Reports, 2020(6). https://doi.org/10.1093/jscr/rjaa145
- Commander, S., Chamata, E., Cox, J., Dickey, R., & Lee, E. (2016). Update on Postsurgical Scar Management. Seminars in Plastic Surgery, 30(03), 122–128. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0036-1584824